WHEELING - For the fourth consecutive year, Wheeling Hospital is providing pink ribbon helmet decals to the 48 OVAC varsity football teams to help promote October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The pink ribbon is recognized nationally as the symbol of breast cancer awareness. The decals will be placed on the back of each team's helmets.
''The decal project is a way for the football players to remind their moms and other loved ones of the importance of receiving an annual mammogram. By the student-athletes wearing the decals, it shows they and the schools' administrations are taking a stand against breast cancer,'' said Ron Violi, Wheeling Hospital's chief executive officer.
Wheelig Central coach Mike Young places a pink ribbon on a player’s helmet.
OVAC Executive Secretary Tom Rataiczak added, ''The OVAC is more than just sports. We recognize our role in giving back to the community. The pink ribbon decal project certainly is an important way to do so. We are proud of all the schools who have volunteered to place the decals on their helmets.''
According to the American Cancer Society, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. By year's end, it is estimated that in the U.S. there will be 232,340 new cases of noninvasive breast cancer. It also is projected that by the beginning of 2014, there will 39,620 breast cancer deaths nationwide.
As for detection of the disease, ''a simple digital mammogram is sometimes all it takes. Today's digital mammography provides us with instant and extremely clear images. We can't encourage women enough to have an annual mammogram. Early detection is crucial,'' explained Jayme Nardo, manager of Wheeling Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Care Center.